How To Build a Pool Table From Scratch – Build It Like a Pro
A lot of families these days are getting interested in having a pool table installed in their homes. Not only that it makes leisure time fun and challenging, but it also makes family bonding even stronger.
When you spend time with your family away from distracting TV sets and gadgets, it improves the parent-children relationship.
Since playing pool requires a number of players, having parents and children play together can help build affection, improve children’s academic performance, and improve cognitive functions.
Best of all, playing pool helps in engaging the many parts of the brain that is a contributing factor in improving the life skills of the children.
Aside from the familial benefits of having a pool table, it was cited that most homebuyers would consider paying for a house or an apartment that has a game room. And because pool tables can add value to properties, many have attempted to build their own pool table from scratch.
And you, too, can build your own. So where do we start?
What Are The Materials Needed?
What Tools Are Needed In Building Your Own Pool Table?
What’s The First Thing You Should Do?
To begin, you have to make sure that there’s enough space in the room where you will install the pool table.
In pool table DIY, it’s surprising to see how many times people tend to forget the space needed to allow multiple players to comfortably fit and move around the pool table just to make a proper shot.
Aside from the measurement of the pool table itself, you should also include the measurement of the area where the players who would like to go around the pool table.
What’s The Ideal Size of a Pool Table?
Next, you should have a pool table plan for the size of the pool table you’d like to build DIY. You can download this plans online, where materials needed and measurement of each part are indicated.
It’s true that you can build any size or shape of the pool table that you want, however, a regulation-size pool table is typically built. A regulation-size pool table measures 100-3/4 inches long by 56-3/4 inches wide, in which its width is twice for its length.
But if you have plans of hosting a pool tournament at your home, following the regulation-size pool table is not necessary.
Moreover, it is best to do your research before you actually build it. A well-built billiard table plan usually comes with illustrations which will walk you through the basics of building a pool table from scratch.
This includes, starting from figuring the lengths of the rails, how to cover the rails as well as the slate bed up to assembling the body frame, and attaching the side rails after you figure the slate bed, the legs, the pool table’s body frame.
A matter of fact, there's a rule of thumb in building your own pool table. Prepare everything and don't hesitate if you feel lost in building your pool table to experts.
Also, remember the three cardinal rules: you should measure twice but cut once and understand that the project might take longer than you expect because unforeseen circumstances may happen.
What Type Of Wood Is Needed In Building The Pool Table?
In building your own pool table for home entertainment, you have to be crucial with the type of wood to be used. What you need to purchase is a medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This also depends on the pool table plans require.
If you want to go extravagant with your pool table, you may also consider using authentic materials in creating the frame to show a touch of your personality the way you envision how your pool table should look like as an end product.
If the table is for casual plays at home, sticking to the basic format and plans is highly recommended.
Wood is considered a good material for home use pool table because it is easy to cut and convenient to put together and turn into a simple rectangular pool table frame.
The type of wood to be used in your pool table also depends on your taste. Among the many parts and materials needed for the pool table, the end product of your DIY pool table relies heavily on the wood you chose.
That is because it makes up the largest portion of your table. If you want to make the best visual statement of your pool table, you have to choose high-quality wood that fits your personal style.
Solid hardwoods are common on the professional pool table as this is the way to support the slate that will sit atop.
When Buying the Slate, What Quality Should We Aim For?
The slate is also an important part of the pool table as this is generally the surface of pool tables.
Slate typically consists of mixed mineral that includes mica, quartz, clay and other minerals. Most of it comes from several different locations around the world, which includes Italy, Brazil, and China, where these minerals are abundant.
One-inch thick slate is used generally on pool tables and is supported by a wood frame that is at least the same thickness or much thicker so that it can easily handle the weight of the slate.
The slate used in regulation-size pool tables are typically cut into three pieces, but you can buy single-piece slate slabs with cut-outs that are solely intended for home pool tables.
One thing that you need to remember about slates is that the harder the slate, the more brittle it is.
To secure the slates in place, extra support on slates are highly recommended. This support will run under the slate bed from side to side and end to end.
What Kind Of Pool Table Cloth Is Needed?
Aside from slate, you should also be guided in choosing the pool table cloth. The ideal pool cloth for your billiard table is typically a blend of 75 percent wool and 25 nylon (called baize). This usually weights 22 ounces per linear yard.
Other pool table builder would prefer wool, where a pure wool quality for pool table cloth is used on the professional circuit. But to assure the sturdiness of the pool table, additional nylon is a must as this will add more strength for a home pool table.
How Should The Rails And Pockets Be Made?
To give you a heads up, the rail is made from a wooden frame and a rubber cushion. The rubber cushion used are made of synthetic or vulcanized rubber that is covered with felt.
Compared to the basic pool tables, the professional pool tables are usually made with K66 cushions. The K66 refers to the cushion shape and angle.
As for the pockets, you can choose between plastic or leather. Pockets for your pool table can go between fringe or shield pocket styles. But if you want to upgrade the look and functionality of your pool table, you can install your own ball return system.
The last thing that you need to invest in your pool table is a cover when you aren’t playing. It is imperative to cover the pool table when not in use to maintain the quality of the slate. This also prevents dust from accumulating atop the slate because it could affect the rolling of the balls.
Basically, to build a pool table from scratch, it goes with;
1. Planning the procedure and the beginning steps to take.
2. Installing pool table bumpers (the railings).
3. Deciding on what type of pockets are you going to install.
4. Applying of pool cloth unto the table and outlining it.
Finishing Touches: You have to make sure if everything is intact and that the pool table looks presentable. This can be done by wiping the pool table with rich brown furniture wax to make it look neat and shiny.
Also Read :
Why Owning A Pool Table Is The Best Decision You Can Ever Make?
Owning a pool table and playing it, in fact, have good benefits not only to adults but children as well. Compared to the mediocre reasons why people should not play pool, it has a lot to offer like:
How Can I Maintain My Pool Table?
Compared to most games, pool table requires the least amount of maintenance to maintain its new look no matter how much you use it.
Despite the popularity of many gadget and PC games, pool tables are still a good way to bond with your family and friends. And to keep that bond, we also have to maintain the pool table.
With that being said, here are some proper care tips on maintaining your pool table;
1. Do I need to brush the cloth?
Yes, but you have to use a brush that uses special fibers to remove the dust and lint that ended up on your cloth. When brushing the cloth, it has to be in one direction.
Never brush the pool table cloth with the back and forth motion as you will destroy the surface of the cloth, which could pill and disrupt the accuracy of the ball.
2. Can I easily clean the spills on the pool cloth?
Not really. The visibility of the stain can be minimized by cleaning it with damp cloth and blot constantly but don’t rub. If the stain won’t go away, the best thing that you can do is replace the pool cloth with the new ones.
To avoid this from happening again in your new pool cloth, it is best to provide an area for kids and guest where they can put their drinks and snacks.
3. Can kids sit on the edge of the pool table?
Nope. The rail cushion was only put using glue and can’t hold weight. Too much weight would cause the rail to break and the cushion to sag. If this happens, there’s a tendency that the balls will not bounce.
In replacing the cushion, the rail and cushion have to be removed, and the pool cloth has to be taken off. To redeem the former glory of the pool table, a new cushion has to be glued, and new pool cloth has to be upholstered.
4. How would I know if I need to replace the cushion of my pool table?
You would know that the cushion needs replacing when the balls did not bounce, and the surface of the pool table has become as hard as a rock.
5. What’s the best way to clean the rail?
If you clean the cloth and the rail using cleaning products such as Pledge, this would only destroy the surface of the rail, and the cloth as its natural color would fade.
The best practice to clean the rail and the cloth is by wiping the dust and finger marks with a damp cloth in one position.
6. Is my pool cloth damaged if there are white dot marks on it?
No. Seeing white dot marks on the pool cloth is normal if you are using the tournament grade cloth called Simonis. The white marks that you are seeing are the heat marks that were created from the cue ball.
These are some points to remember to maintain your pool table properly.
Building a pool table for entertainment use has become a trend in the most household as this is considered to be a practical decision in saving money. Although there’s a lot of companies who can customize a pool table for you, some still opt for DIY.
Aside from the economic benefits of DIY pool tables wherein you could get cheaper materials needed by outsourcing it from other people who have it, building your own helps promote good relationship within the family.
When families participate together in one activity such as billiard, they get to know each other more because they communicate as they play. It gives confidence and assurance to the kids, while it helps parents to get to know more about their child.
In the economic sense of having a pool table, it helps you increase the value of the property and be sellable compared to homes with no game room.
These days, most home buyers look for homes with game rooms because this will save them from the hassle of going out just to have fun.
Having a pool table at home makes a party organizing convenient because you don’t need to spend money on entertainment when you want to have a couple of drinks with your friends.
Just a pool table, a couple of drinks and food and some chitchats are already enough.